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Airlines call for compensation for volcano disruption

30th April, 2010

Now that flights have resumed, airlines are calling on governments to compensate them for loss of earnings during the grounding caused by volcanic ash. AEF is strongly opposed to compensation.

Flights were grounded for safety reasons. It is standard practice that operators of all industries pay for health and safely measures as part of the normal cost of doing business. They also pay for any costs that arise from implementing health or safety policies, regulations, or actions. For example, if a road is closed for safety reasons and that inconveniences passenger and transport operators, there is no question of those parties getting compensation.

This being so, it would be quite unfair for airlines or airline passengers to be compensated by government.

It would also be unfair on all the people who were not travelling at the time of the problems. There is no good reason why people who stayed in the UK over the easter period should compensate either those who chose to go abroad or their carriers.

Compensation would be just another example of a subsidy to the aviation industry, which already avoids tax to the extent of about £10 billion pa in the UK.